Baku. Azerbaijan. April 1, 2009. In an unexpected move which shocked Azerbaijani public as well as many observers abroad, the country’s ruling YAP party, which stands for “Yeni Azerbaijan Partiyasi”, or “New Azerbaijan Party” in English, decided to dissolve itself during an emergency general session of delegates. The session was initially called to celebrate the victory in the referendum on constitutional changes, which allowed the current president Ilham Aliyev, chairman of YAP, to remain in office indefinitely. Giant portraits of the president and his late father, former president Heydar Aliyev (also known by popular titles “National Leader”, “The Great One”, “Savior of Nation”, “The Reason for Our Existence”) were prepared for the occasion.
However, during the session a very rare case of divergence developed between two groups of delegates on the question whether to use the word “Mohterem” (“Dignified”) or “Hormetli” (“Respected”) as the exclusive epithets for the president. The debate got heated when one representative of the older, more conservative wing of the party accused the younger delegates in preparing a coup. In response, he himself was accused in having contacts with “radical opposition”.
The attempt to moderate the discussion by suggesting that both words be used as exclusive labels was met with booing from both sides. The session ended abruptly after the fighting broke between the two groups.
Immediately after the incident, both groups proclaimed their right to carry the party’s abbreviation “YAP”, with one announcing the creation of “Yaltag Agizlar Partiyasi”, or “Flattering Mouths Party” in English, and the other group declared that they submitted the registration papers for “Yersiz Alqishlar Partiyasi”, translated into English roughly as “Uncalled Ovations Party” . (Azerbaijan Royal News Service)